Essentials: LIZ

LIZ Y2KIn short, Essentials allows artists to put down their instruments and divulge about a specific topic, giving fans and the like the opportunity to connect with their interests and inspirations. It’s just unlike any other digital list feature, we’re totally okay with things getting weird, candid and uncensored. Cali pop star LIZ has been on our radar for quite some time and following the release of her new EP via Mad Decent, we reached out to the R&B singer to have her name five of her favourite throwback albums. Little did we know we’d wind up with so many feels (Y2K for life y’all).

LIZ will be performing at Mad Decent’s showcase at SXSW. Find more details over at

Janet Jackson – All Of You (2001)
I grew up on Janet and Michael in the dance studio and in the car on the way to school. Of course, I am down with Control (1986), Rhythm Nation (1989) and The Velvet Rope (1997), but I kind of gravitate towards the gloss on this album. “Doesn’t Really Matter”, “Someone To Call My Lover”, and “All For You” are all bona fide smashes. Not only that, but they make you feel GREAT. I hope to write timeless songs like these one day.

Mariah Carey – Daydream (1995)
Daydream was one of the first albums I could call my own. I love a lot of Mariah’s albums but this one is sentimental to me. My big sister actually got it for Christmas and I ended up making it mine as I used to think, “WTF? She’s more into Lilith Fair artists anyway… this is my steez”. The album’s all scratched up from being played on my portable CD player time after time. I credit Mariah for helping me embrace my whistle register and high falsetto range. I didn’t know it was cool or normal to sing way up there until I heard her do it.

Justin Timberlake – Justified (2002)
Before I had heard any of it – and just reading J-14 magazine blurbs and hearing Carson Daly’s updates on TRL – I was skeptical to hear JT was working on solo stuff after ‘N Sync ended. I think I was just partly in denial, to be honest. Boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise. Being a young teen, I had never heard these sounds before – JT was onto some next level shit at the height of Timbaland’s and Pharrell’s careers. Justin’s talent and wit still blows my mind today. He’s unstoppable and this album was just a taste of how innovative and progressive he would be in pop music.

Gwen Stefani – Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (2004)
A true icon. Gorgeous, kawaii, clever, and full of attitude. This album was pretty experimental and would still be new and fresh if it were to come out today. Gwen just paints such fun imagery all of the time and I doubt there’s anyone in this industry who doesn’t respect the hell out of her. She is definitely one of my main role models.

TLC – FanMail (1999)
These are my girls. The fact that they wrote songs for the fans based on their letters to them is so sweet and badass. The radio smashes on here were like every artist’s dream. This album in particular was definitely a huge part of establishing that Y2K sound that is so dearly missed. Their songs had messages with heart and conviction, but you could still get majorly down to ’em. True idols of mine.

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